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We’re warming oceans at the equivalent of one atomic explosion — per second

We’re warming oceans at the equivalent of one atomic explosion — per second
A severely bleached branching coral is seen among less affected boulder coral in the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia. (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)

To the editor: Our record warm world ocean is not something we land animals contemplate as we go about our lives. Perhaps it would be useful to realize that the last time the oceans were as acidic and warm as they are today, 96% of marine life went extinct.

I try to do my part by driving a solar-powered electric car, promoting renewable energy to anyone who will listen and going on ocean and beach cleanups. Is that enough? Of course not.

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I recently read an article that said the energy required to warm the oceans as much as they have over the last 150 years is equal to an atomic bomb going off each second. This is all too real and all too sobering, and hearing facts like this may kick us out of our pervasive state of denial.

Linda Nicholes, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: Scientists studying the oceans report that a warming trend is occurring much faster than predicted and is threatening the ecosystems and biodiversity of the seas. The higher temperatures will lead to ever more devastating storms and catastrophic events due to increasing moisture in the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, said in his confirmation hearing to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that climate change is a problem but not a high priority. By cutting regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA is accelerating our headlong rush to the extinction of human beings and many other species.

We only have one Planet Earth. What is more important than its health?

Tony Baker, Rancho Palos Verdes

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To the editor: A 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that marine creatures have been migrating toward the poles at a rate of about 45 miles per decade.

Southern California fishermen of a certain age can remember when late spring and early summer brought albacore to local offshore waters. Sablefish were a common catch on boats fishing for bottom-dwelling rockfish year round.

Albacore are now a local rarity but don’t seem to be missed, as they have been replaced by warmer water tunas. Sablefish were considered less desirable, and their disappearance from local waters was little noted.

Both species are listed as “best choices” by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, meaning they still exist in such numbers that they are not threatened by current fishing levels. But they are now found hundreds of miles north of their former ranges.

We accept the new norms, and collective memory of former conditions fades. It’s going to be a much tougher world for all living things if our species won’t mitigate carbon emissions now.

Mike Bell, Redondo Beach

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